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10 Ways to train your kids to live healthy

 

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healthy living10 Ways to train your kids to live healthy

With so many unhealthy choices available today, it’s difficult to steer your kids away from the types of behaviors that encourage an unhealthy lifestyle. The time before they leave home for college is the time to teach them how to live healthy and make wise choices. When they leave home and begin living independently, it will be easy for them to continue those good habits.

1. Have consistent family mealtime

Families should have at least one mealtime when they eat together. It may be difficult in today’s fast paced world, but it’s critical that you stick to this rule. You can teach them about healthy portions and healthy food choices when you are sharing a meal together. Let them participate in food preparation as well to teach them about healthy cooking habits such as limiting butter and salt.

2. Encourage them to participate in outside activities

Start at a young age to encourage them to get outside and play. Go on hikes together and play ball in the yard. Participating in outside activities teaches them to stay active and prevents them from becoming sedentary in front of the television. If they see exercise as fun it will be easier to get them outside to participate in sports and other activities.

3. Limit their technology time

Technology can rob your kids of valuable time spent being active. With all the distractions today, it’s not only difficult to keep their attention, but it’s also hard to deflect it to other things. Limiting their time gives you an opportunity to teach them that there are so many other activities that are just as fun as texting or playing games on the iPad.

4. Praise them when they make good choices

When your kids make good choices (healthy snacks, active play over sitting in front of the television, and even choosing a healthy meal at a fast food restaurant), encourage them by praising them for those choices. Kids instinctively want to please their parents; and if they are praised for doing so, they will continue.

5. Get them involved in healthy choices

Let your kids help with grocery lists and choosing healthy lunches and snacks. Encourage them to do household chores which keeps them active and let them choose an extracurricular sport to participate in after school.

6. Let them participate in meal planning

When you let your kid plan their snacks and lunches, a family meal or holiday feast, it teaches them to make healthy decisions. They also learn to make decisions and be responsible for the outcomes. You can also guide them as they choose which foods to add to the meals and how to prepare them.

7. Don’t use food as bribery

Just about every parent has done this: promise them sweets if they eat their meal. It may be effective but it’s not a good habit to teach them. Using food as a reward is one way to create food motivation, which can be detrimental if your child grows up seeing food as a special reward and was not taught how to limit this reward.

8. Let them see you live healthy

Every parent has spouted off at one time or another, “do as I say, not as I do”. But realistically kids mimic the behavior of their parents. If you lead by example by being active, eating healthy, and exploring activities outside the home, they are more likely to take on those healthy habits themselves.

9. Provide them with healthy options

Stocking your pantry and refrigerator with unhealthy food is the worst way to encourage healthy eating habits. Providing them with alternatives to technology will go a long way in teaching them the importance of exercise and fitness. If your kid lives in a positive, healthy environment they will become positive individuals.

10. Stress regular exercise

Make sure your kid’s physical education program at school is a good one. Exercise is a key component to a healthy lifestyle. If they learn it at a young age, they will continue this habit when they enter high school and head off to college.

Healthy living can be difficult, but the rewards are life changing. Later in life you and your kids will reap the benefits of your choices to live healthy.

Check out Wendy’s (POCSMom) article “10 out-of-the-gift-box ideas for a healthy lifestyle

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One Response to “10 Ways to train your kids to live healthy”

  1. […] Want ten more tips? Read Suzanne’s 10 Ways to train your kids to live healthy. […]